William Carey’s Plaque
William Carey was a self-educated man whose parents were weavers in Northamptonshire. He became a Baptist missionary and travelled with his family to the city of Serampur on the Indian sub-continent in 1793, which at that time was colonised by the Danish. While there he translated the Bible into six languages including Bengali, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit. Carey and his family stayed in Ryde while waiting for a ship to take them to Kolkata (Calcutta). This plaque commemorates the place where he stayed while here, on Castle Street. See if you can find it on the wall of a house.
(If you are in a group, perhaps take turns to read each story out loud in character!)
Devoid of life, we walk down the barren road. Stone and brick walls tower over us as we continue strolling along. Bare windows of the buildings act as an insight on one’s life. Some have candle lights flickering on a table, whilst some have small chandeliers. Leather-bound books lay strewn; bibles of pious men and women sit on shelves; marbles toy yoyos and teddy bears lie on the floor, gathering dust.
Far, far away I could hear the trot-trot-trotting of a horse and the rolling of a carriage behind. Distant voices can be heard up the thoroughfare. Henry and Bennelong have already walked far ahead of us by now. I could see their figures walking further and further away, leaving me with just Edie as my company.
A man saunters past. I didn’t recognise him at first, until I caught a glimpse of his face. He seemed familiar to me but I didn’t know how. Had I seen him before? No, I couldn’t have. It’s impossible. So why do I recognise him? I glanced at my sister and saw that she did not seem to notice.
‘Do you see that man over there?’
‘Yes I do. Why do you mention him?’
‘Look at him. Do you recognise him?’
She stayed silent for a second, and then her eyes lit up like Christmas lights. She recognised him too.
‘Who is he?’
‘It’s William Carey! The man who translated the Bible into 6 languages.’
I remembered him once she mentioned the name. He is a missionary who ended up translating the Bible into 6 languages, and has many places named after him in the C21st, including William Carey University. I was going to go over and talk to him, but then looked up at the sky. Dark grey clouds roll in from above, anger within every move as it comes closer to us. It will rain, that is if we are lucky! The worst outcome could be a storm. Either way, we need to find shelter quickly. Maybe we should stop by a shop.
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